2023 - SPECIAL REPORT - FOOD SECURITY AND CONFLICT: HARVESTING RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF A GLOBAL CRISIS

Julie DZEROWICZ (Canada)

07 October 2023

The world is currently in the grip of an unprecedented food security crisis. A combination of complex and interrelated challenges has undone decades of efforts by the international community to eradicate hunger. Among these challenges, conflict continues to act as the main driver of food insecurity, despite the recognition and protection that the right to food enjoys under international law.  

Russia’s criminal war against Ukraine has fuelled an alarming and rapid worsening of the already dire global food insecurity situation. The Kremlin’s reckless and brutal actions have contributed to pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation. The ripple effects of this tsunami of hunger could sweep away global stability and, in turn, test the resilience of Allied countries. Addressing the food insecurity crisis is therefore both a moral duty and a security imperative for the Alliance. 

This report aims to contribute to this effort. It provides an overview of the scale, root causes and catalysts of the crisis as well as outlines the legal framework prohibiting the weaponization of food. It also describes the significant efforts already made by Allies to fight the scourge of hunger and suggests a set of policy recommendations to further strengthen Allied and global resilience to its tragic effects.